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An Examination of the Dynamics of Online Social Support

An Examination of the Dynamics of Online Social Support | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Although many people with serious diseases participate in online support communities, little research has investigated how participants elicit and provide social support on these sites.


This study by Yi-Chia Wang, Robert E Kraut, John M Levine Uses Computer-Aided Content Analysis to Examine the Dynamics of Online Social Support.


A high percentage of people with chronic or life-threatening diseases use online resources to obtain information about their condition and ways to cope with it. Although informational websites are the most popular, many people—especially cancer patients and survivors—participate in online health support communities.


A recent meta-analysis suggested that online support communities are effective in decreasing depression and increasing self-efficacy and quality of life. Although several clinical trials suggest that participation in Internet-based support communities improves emotional well-being, conclusions are ambiguous because most interventions have multiple components of which support group participation is only a part.


Moreover, research also shows that support interventions often do not provide the benefits they were designed to produce. Thus, much remains to be learned about when and why support is effective in online communities.


Conclusions of this study 
Self-disclosure is effective in eliciting emotional support, whereas question asking is effective in eliciting informational support. Moreover, perceptions that people desire particular kinds of support influence the support they receive. Finally, the type of support people receive affects the likelihood of their staying in or leaving the group. These results demonstrate the utility of machine learning methods for investigating the dynamics of social support exchange in online support communities.


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Language on Twitter Tracks Rates of Coronary Heart Disease

Language on Twitter Tracks Rates of Coronary Heart Disease | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Twitter can serve as a dashboard indicator of a community’s psychological well-being and can predict county-level rates of heart disease, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of theAssociation for Psychological Science.


Previous studies have identified many factors that contribute to the risk of heart disease, including behavioral factors like smoking and psychological factors like stress.


Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrated that Twitter can capture more information about heart disease risk than many traditional factors combined, as it also characterizes the psychological atmosphere of a community.


The findings show that expressions of negative emotions such as anger, stress, and fatigue in the tweets from people in a given county were associated with higher heart disease risk in that county. On the other hand, expressions of positive emotions like excitement and optimism were associated with lower risk.


The results suggest that using Twitter as a window into a community’s collective mental state may provide a useful tool in epidemiology:

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Google to collect data to create a full picture of what a healthy human being is

Google to collect data to create a full picture of what a healthy human being is | healthcare technology | Scoop.it
Called Baseline Study, Google's project will gather anonymous genetic and molecular information to create a full picture of what a healthy human is.


The early-stage project is run by Andrew Conrad, a 50-year-old molecular biologist who pioneered cheap, high-volume tests for HIV in blood-plasma donations.


Dr. Conrad joined Google X—thecompany's research arm—in March 2013, and he has built a team of about 70-to-100 experts from fields including physiology, biochemistry, optics, imaging and molecular biology.


Other mass medical and genomics studies exist. But Baseline will amass a much larger and broader set of new data. The hope is that this will help researchers detect killers such as heart disease and cancer far earlier, pushing medicine more toward prevention rather than the treatment of illness.


"With any complex system, the notion has always been there to proactively address problems," Dr. Conrad said. "That's not revolutionary. We are just asking the question: If we really wanted to be proactive, what would we need to know? You need to know what the fixed, well-running thing should look like."


The project won't be restricted to specific diseases, and it will collect hundreds of different samples using a wide variety of new diagnostic tools. Then Google will use its massive computing power to find patterns, or "biomarkers," buried in the information. The hope is that these biomarkers can be used by medical researchers to detect any disease a lot earlier.


The study may, for instance, reveal a biomarker that helps some people break down fatty foods efficiently, helping them live a long time without high cholesterol and heart disease. Others may lack this trait and succumb to early heart attacks. Once Baseline has identified the biomarker, researchers could check if other people lack it and help them modify their behavior or develop a new treatment to help them break down fatty foods better, Dr. Conrad said.


Google has already built one of the world's largest networks of computers and data centers to serve online-search results quickly and run other data-hungry services like the video website YouTube. This computing muscle can now be used to store and crunch medical information and let other researchers access it more easily.

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Big Data Peeps At Your Medical Records To Find Drug Problems

Big Data Peeps At Your Medical Records To Find Drug Problems | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

It's been tough to identify the problems that only turn up after medicines are on the market. An experimental project is now combing through data to get earlier, more accurate warnings.


No one likes it when a new drug in people's medicine cabinets turns out to have problems — just remember the Vioxx debacle a decade ago, when the painkiller was removed from the market over concerns that it increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.


To do a better job of spotting unforeseen risks and side effects, the Food and Drug Administration is trying something new — and there's a decent chance that it involves your medical records.


It's called Mini-Sentinel, and it's a $116 million government project to actively go out and look for adverse events linked to marketed drugs. This pilot program is able to mine huge databases of medical records for signs that drugs may be linked to problems.


The usual system for monitoring the safety of marketed drugs has real shortcomings. It largely relies on voluntary reports from doctors, pharmacists, and just plain folks who took a drug and got a bad outcome.


"We get about a million reports a year that way," says Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "But those are random. They are whatever people choose to send us."

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Genetic researchers have a new tool in API-controlled lab robots

Genetic researchers have a new tool in API-controlled lab robots | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

A life-sciences-as-a-service startup called Transcriptic has opened its APIs to the general public, allowing researchers around the world offload tedious lab work to robots so researchers can spend more of their time analyzing the results.


Using a set of APIs, researchers can now command Transcriptic’s purpose-built robots to process, analyze, and store their genetic or biological samples, and receive results in days.


The high concept idea, says Founder and CEO Max Hodak, is cloud computing for life sciences — only with “robotic work cells” instead of servers on the other end. “We see the lab in terms of the devices that make it up,” he said, meaning stuff like incubators, freezers, liquid handlers and robotic arms to replace human arms.


And although Transcriptic’s technology is complex, the process for getting work done is actually pretty simple. Researchers write code to tell the robots exactly what to do with the samples (right now, the company focuses on molecular cloning, genotyping, bacteria-growing and bio-banking), and then they send their samples to the Transcriptic lab.


Alternatively, Transcriptic’s robotic infrastructure can also synthesize samples for users.


And although Transcriptic’s technology is complex, the process for getting work done is actually pretty simple.


Researchers write code to tell the robots exactly what to do with the samples (right now, the company focuses on molecular cloning, genotyping, bacteria-growing and bio-banking), and then they send their samples to the Transcriptic lab. Alternatively, Transcriptic’s robotic infrastructure can also synthesize samples for users.


When the job is done, researchers get their results. That process can take anywhere from a day to weeks, Hodak explained, in part because the company’s operation is still pretty small and in part because “cells only grow and divide so quickly.”


more at http://gigaom.com/2014/07/15/genetic-researchers-have-a-new-tool-in-api-controlled-lab-robots/


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The Role of Facebook in Crush the Crave - Mobile & #hcsm Smoking Cessation Intervention

The Role of Facebook in Crush the Crave - Mobile & #hcsm Smoking Cessation Intervention | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

The Role of Facebook in Crush the Crave, a Mobile- and Social Media-Based Smoking Cessation Intervention: Qualitative Framework Analysis of Posts

Background: Social networking sites, particularly Facebook, are increasingly included in contemporary smoking cessation interventions directed toward young adults. Little is known about the role of Facebook in smoking cessation interventions directed toward this age demographic.

Objective: The aim of this study was to characterize the content of posts on the Facebook page of Crush the Crave, an evidence-informed smoking cessation intervention directed toward young adults aged 19 to 29 years.

Results: We found that the original Crush the Crave Facebook posts served two main purposes: to support smoking cessation and to market Crush the Crave.

Most of the original posts (86/121, 71.1%) conveyed support of smoking cessation through the following 7 subthemes: encouraging cessation, group stimulation, management of cravings, promoting social support, denormalizing smoking, providing health information, and exposing tobacco industry tactics. The remaining original posts (35/121, 28.9%) aimed to market Crush the Crave through 2 subthemes: Crush the Crave promotion and iPhone 5 contest promotion.

Most of the reply posts (214/278, 77.0%) were in response to the supporting smoking cessation posts and the remaining 64 (23.0%) were in response to the marketing Crush the Crave posts.

The most common response to both the supporting smoking cessation and marketing Crush the Crave posts was user engagement with the images associated with each post at 40.2% (86/214) and 45% (29/64), respectively.

The second most common response consisted of users sharing their smoking-related experiences. More users shared their smoking-related experiences in response to the supporting smoking cessation posts (81/214, 37.9%) compared to the marketing Crush the Crave posts (11/64, 17%).

With the exception of 4 posts, a moderator posted all the original posts. In addition, although 56.00% (18,937/33,815) of Crush the Crave Facebook page users were men, only 19.8% (55/278) of the reply posts were made by men.

Finally, men were found to be more likely to express sarcasm or make strong assertions about quitting smoking and Crush the Crave than women.

Conclusions: The CTC Facebook page presents as a unique platform for supporting young adult smoking cessation at all stages of the cessation process. The findings of this study indicate that social networking sites, especially Facebook, warrant inclusion in tobacco control efforts directed towards young adults. Research on effectiveness of the Facebook page for quitting smoking is needed.


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Software Spots Sensitive Traces in Health Records

Software Spots Sensitive Traces in Health Records | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

New software could give people greater control over how their personal health information is shared between doctors and medical institutions—provided that enough health providers decide to use the system.


Today a patient’s data typically stays within a hospital group or doctor’s practice. If you get care elsewhere you are essentially a blank slate unless a special request for your data is made, in which case the entire record becomes accessible. But many patients may not want their entire medical history to be accessible by everyone they see, so there is pressure to develop tools that can be used to limit access. One tricky issue is that redacting details of a diagnosis may not remove all the clues as to that condition, such as prescribed drugs or lab tests.


A new tool developed by computer scientists at the University of Illinois can figure out which parts of a record may inadvertently reveal aspects of a patient’s medical history. The idea is that as data-sharing proposals advance, the patient would decide what parts of his or her record to keep private. A clinician would get advice from the technology on how to amend the record to ensure that this occurs.


The software bases its recommendations on a machine-learning analysis of many other medical records. This reveals what details could be associated with things like mental health episodes, past drug abuse, or a diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease when the record is shared with another hospital or doctor. The tool could eventually automatically remove those additional details to keep that information confidential.




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Personalized medicine in psychiatry: problems and promises

Personalized medicine in psychiatry: problems and promises | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

The central theme of personalized medicine is the premise that an individual’s unique physiologic characteristics play a significant role in both disease vulnerability and in response to specific therapies.


The major goals of personalized medicine are therefore to predict an individual’s susceptibility to developing an illness, achieve accurate diagnosis, and optimize the most efficient and favorable response to treatment. The goal of achieving personalized medicine in psychiatry is a laudable one, because its attainment should be associated with a marked reduction in morbidity and mortality.


In this review, we summarize an illustrative selection of studies that are laying the foundation towards personalizing medicine in major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. In addition, we present emerging applications that are likely to advance personalized medicine in psychiatry, with an emphasis on novel biomarkers and neuroimaging.


Excerpt From the Conclusion:


The prospect of personalized medicine in psychiatry more or less reflects ideals still largely unrealized. Currently, the field is at the information-gathering infancy stage.


The greatest progress can be expected at the intersections of the categories described above, such as gene × environment and genes × biomarkers, which will poise psychiatry to make biological system-based evaluations. Furthermore, some of the emerging applications, including imaging genomics, strengthen our conviction that the future for personalized medicine is highly promising.

 



more at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/132


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How to create long-term value with wearables?

How to create long-term value with wearables? | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Sustained engagement is emerging as the key challenge for companies developing wearable devices and complementary services. What these companies may not be aware of is the importance of habit formation, social motivation, and goal reinforcement. These three factors, drawn from behavioral science, contain the secrets to successful wearable products and related services that get used and deliver real value.



A failure to engage

A surprising percentage of devices in the market fail to achieve even short-term engagement for many users because they suffer from one or more fatal user experience flaws.

Product design teams typically work toward nine baseline criteria that must be met to drive initial adoption and use: selectability, design, out-of-box experience, fit/comfort, quality, user experience, integration ability, lifestyle compatibility, and overall utility.

Many current devices fail on one or more of these criteria by breaking, failing after a shower, pulling the hairs off your arm, running down quickly, or being a pain to sync with your smartphone. Sadly, the growing number value-added services designed to exploit the data these wearables provide and their open APIs also suffer from similar problems with user experience.

Beyond traditional design criteria

However, even if these criteria are satisfied, they are not sufficient to drive long-term use. Traditional product design criteria are only part of the key to developing successful wearable products and services.

Devices and services that help wearers change their habits also promote sustained behavior change and lead to long-term health. Behavioral science offers three other critical factors that can lead to the development of successful wearable products and related services.


Key factor #1: habit formation

Sustained engagement with a wearable device or complementary service depends on its ability to help the user form and stick with new habits. Psychologists define habits as automatic behaviors or routines that are triggered by situational cues, which are then followed by some form of reward. Habits have three key components: cues, routines, and rewards. The best wearable devices have the potential to make the process of habit formation more effective and efficient than ever before.


Key factor #2: social motivation

Sustained engagement beyond initial habit formation with a wearable device or complementary service depends on its ability to motivate users effectively. Social connections are a particularly powerful source of motivation that can be leveraged in many creative ways. In addition to using social connections to influence behavior, social media and networking sites can be exploited to alter habits for positive outcomes. This includes the communication of social norms through “postings” or “sharing” of thoughts, pictures, and comments with one another.


Key factor #3: goal reinforcement

To achieve sustained engagement, a user needs to build on these habits and social motivation to experience a feeling of progress toward defined goals. Research shows that achieving several smaller goals provides the positive momentum necessary for achieving bigger goals. Wearable products and services that help people experience continuous progress can do so, for example, through real-time updates that are powered by big data and insights. Facilitating personal progress in this way leads to improved health, user satisfaction, and long-term, sustained engagement.



Read more: http://medcitynews.com/2014/03/create-long-term-value-wearables-inspire-behavior-change/#ixzz2utQe7O1q

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Online community connects 3D printer owners with people who need prosthetic hands

Online community connects 3D printer owners with people who need prosthetic hands | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

A chance connection over the internet has spawned multiple efforts to provide 3D printed hands at an extremely low cost.


Around the world, there are people who have lost all or part of their hand, or were born without one. There are also people and institutions with 3D printers. Pair the two, and you can print a custom mechanical hand for $20-150 — thousands less than the typical prosthetic.


e-NABLE, which functions through a website, Facebook page and Google+ page, stepped up to connect the two after site founder Jon Schull came across work by American prop maker Ivan Owen, who made a metal mechanical hand for South African carpenter Richard Van As. Van As had lost four of his fingers in a carpentry accident.


Owen was then contacted by a mother whose 5-year-old son needed a hand. He again made a metal hand for the boy. But then he turned to 3D printing. MakerBot gave both Owen and Van As a 3D printer.


The pair developed a 3D printed hand for the boy and then posted the design to Thingiverse, where anyone could download and print it.

Van As and Owen’s efforts toward developing 3D printed hands live on via the Roboand project, which has created more than 200 hands and now branched into prosthetic fingers and arms. But Schull was interested in connecting people who needed hands with individual makers and institutions that had 3D printing skills, but potentially idle printers.


He started a Google+ page, and then a Facebook page and website. More than 300 makers make their services available to people who contact e-NABLE about a hand. Just a quick scroll through posts on the Facebook page reveals many, many people who have a use for a hand.

“I see e-NABLE as a crowd-sourced pay-it-forward network for design, customization and fabrication of all sorts of assistive technologies,” Schull told Rochester Institute of Technology, where he is a researcher. “This is a scalable model that could go way beyond 3D printed prosthetic hands.”


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Inforth Technologies's curator insight, February 26, 2014 8:23 AM

Such a great idea.  3D printed prosthetics can be custom fit to the owner.

Andreas Eriksen's curator insight, February 26, 2014 1:23 PM

Awesome Samsung phones/accessories on www.bestsamsungphones.com

petabush's curator insight, February 27, 2014 4:05 AM

Interesting model for 'crowd sourced pay-it-forward network' 

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Fitness Trackers Are Useless Without Real-Time, Personalized Analysis

Fitness Trackers Are Useless Without Real-Time, Personalized Analysis | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

No one has arms long enough to wear all of the activity-tracking wristbands currently on sale or awaiting release. These devices count your steps, measure your sleep and some even monitor your heart rate.


But do you know how this information immediately applies to your lifestyle, or what you should do with it?


The services behind these trackers need to invest in immediacy by providing useful information, ideally in real time, so we can optimize our wealth of data into action.


Everyone wants to be better, but nobody has a baseline for understanding themselves.


what use is the data without knowing in real time what you, individually, can do to change it?


I’d like to know whether I need to slow down. Am I pushing myself too hard?

nrip's insight:

If I got a dollar for each time I said this to someone in the last year, I would have got a million plus by now :) ...  I am happy that others see this as a deal breaker for wearables too.


The mediXcel PHR is solving this very problem by trying to build a personalized analysis engine on top of the wearable databank it has which connects to 40 odd wearables at the moment.

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Jay Gadani's curator insight, August 6, 2014 11:46 PM

A good example of how data is cool. But, in order to make it meaningful, it needs to be analysis!! 

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Epigenetics - A Timeline

Researchers are clarifying epigenetic intricacies such as missing heritability, disease markers, methylated proteins, and imprinted genes. But how did we get here? Learn about the history of epigenetics in this timeline spanning 130 years.


source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPZX6VxqtWo&feature=youtu.be&a

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Drug Companies Could Use EHR Systems for Targeted Marketing

Drug Companies Could Use EHR Systems for Targeted Marketing | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Pharmaceutical companies increasingly are using electronic health records to analyze patient data and market their products to consumers and physicians through advertisements and email campaigns.


Electronic health record systems could be used by pharmaceutical companies to market their products to physicians and consumers,Reuters reports.


Pharmaceutical companies historically have gathered patients' de-identified data from insurers, pharmacies and public records to improve their marketing strategies.


However, drug companies can collect and analyze data through EHR systems and use that information to reach out to consumers and doctors.

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Use of Google Translate in medical communication: evaluation of accuracy

Use of Google Translate in medical communication: evaluation of accuracy | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Google Translate has only 57.7% accuracy when used for medical phrase translations and should not be trusted for important medical communications.


However, it still remains the most easily available and free initial mode of communication between a doctor and patient when language is a barrier.


Although caution is needed when life saving or legal communications are necessary, it can be a useful adjunct to human translation services when these are not available.


Read the research paper below which formed the above conclusion.


Communication is the cornerstone of medicine, without which we cannot interact with our patients. The General Medical Council’s Good Medical Practice states that “Doctors must listen to patients, take account of their views, and respond honestly to their questions. However, we still often interact with patients who do not speak the local language.


In the United Kingdom most hospitals have access to translation services, but they are expensive and often cumbersome. A complex and nuanced medical, ethical, and treatment discussion with patients whose knowledge of the local language is inadequate remains challenging. Indeed, even in a native language there is an element of translation from medical to lay terminology.


We recently treated a very sick child in our paediatric intensive care unit. The parents did not speak English, and there were no human translators available. Reluctantly we resorted to a web based translation tool. We were uncertain whether Google Translate was accurately translating our complex medical phrases. Fortunately our patient recovered, and a human translator later reassured us that we had conveyed information accurately.


We aimed to evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of Google Translate in translating common English medical statements.


Results

Ten medical phrases were evaluated in 26 languages (8 Western European, 5 Eastern European, 11 Asian, and 2 African), giving 260 translated phrases. Of the total translations, 150 (57.7%) were correct while 110 (42.3%) were wrong. African languages scored lowest (45% correct), followed by Asian languages (46%), Eastern European next with 62%, and Western European languages were most accurate at 74%. The medical phrase that was best translated across all languages was “Your husband has the opportunity to donate his organs” (88.5%), while “Your child has been fitting” was translated accurately in only 7.7% (table). Swahili scored lowest with only 10% correct, while Portuguese scored highest at 90%.


There were some serious errors. For instance, “Your child is fitting” translated in Swahili to “Your child is dead.” In Polish “Your husband has the opportunity to donate his organs” translated to “Your husband can donate his tools.” In Marathi “Your husband had a cardiac arrest” translated to “Your husband had an imprisonment of heart.” “Your wife needs to be ventilated” in Bengali translated to “Your wife wind movement needed.”

Discussion

Google Translate is an easily available free online machine translation tool for 80 languages worldwide. However, we have found limited usefulness for medical phrases used in communications between patients and doctor.


We found many translations that were completely wrong. Google Translate uses statistical matching to translate rather than a dictionary/grammar rules approach, which leaves it open to nonsensical results.

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Can EHRs power up the fight against epidemics?

Can EHRs power up the fight against epidemics? | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Government health IT leaders say electronic health record systems can expand information sharing and help public health responders fight the spread Ebola and future viruses.


While the United States avoided a public health crisis from the Ebola virus, the possibility of an epidemic at home got government health IT leaders thinking about how electronic health records might be used to expand information sharing and help public health responders fight the spread of Ebola and future viruses.


There are significant hurdles to clear before the EHRs used in clinical care will be able to really help state, local and federal health officials track and respond to fast-moving outbreaks in real time, according to those at recent Health IT Policy Committee meeting on the potential for using EHRs to fight epidemics.


The problem of interoperability and data transfer between EHR systems, medical laboratories and public health databases is one big issue. More broadly, there is a lack of what experts call "bidirectionality" between health records, preventing health officials – either for technical or privacy reasons – from accessing individual patient records.


Ultimately, broader use of EHRs to detect and respond to epidemics will require changes in technology. The passive surveillance of patient EHRs using analytic tools could give greater velocity to detecting not just viral disease outbreaks, but environmental risks, contaminated food and medicine as well as other large-scale health problems that are clustered geographically or in certain demographic groups.


That’s not to say epidemiology is lacking in high-tech approaches. New York City, for example, was able to use cell phone location information and subway fare card data to conduct contact tracing on individuals that may have come into contact with the Ebola virus while traveling. However, aggregating that information, and making it available at scale through an EHR platform, appears to be a long way off.

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NHS tests 'plaster' patient-monitor

NHS tests 'plaster' patient-monitor | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

The NHS is starting to test a sticking-plaster-sized patient-monitoring patch.

Placed on the chest, it wirelessly transmits data on heart rate, breathing and body-temperature while the patient is free to move around.

Independent experts say the system, developed in Britain, could ease pressure on wards and has the potential to monitor patients in their own home.


But the Royal College of Nursing says there is no substitute for having enough staff.


Routine checks for vital signs - including temperature, blood pressure and heart rate - are a key part of care and safety in hospitals.


Typically they may be carried out every four hours, depending on the patient's condition.


But patients can deteriorate between checks, putting them at risk.


A hospital in Brighton run by the private healthcare firm Spire has been testing the battery-powered patch, which updates information on some of the vital signs every couple of minutes.


The wireless device, developed by the Oxford-based firm Sensium Healthcare, then issues an alert if the readings fall outside pre-set levels, indicating a potential problem.


The patch is placed on the chest just above the heart when the patient is admitted. There are no cables to any monitors. Instead, readings are recorded and transmitted to a box in each room that works like a wi-fi router, passing on data to the hospital IT system.


more at http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28317509


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Can Mobile Technologies and Big Data Improve Health?

Can Mobile Technologies and Big Data Improve Health? | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

After decades as a technological laggard, medicine has entered its data age. Mobile technologies, sensors, genome sequencing, and advances in analytic software now make it possible to capture vast amounts of information about our individual makeup and the environment around us. The sum of this information could transform medicine, turning a field aimed at treating the average patient into one that’s customized to each person while shifting more control and responsibility from doctors to patients.


The question is: can big data make health care better?


“There is a lot of data being gathered. That’s not enough,” says Ed Martin, interim director of the Information Services Unit at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. “It’s really about coming up with applications that make data actionable.”


The business opportunity in making sense of that data—potentially $300 billion to $450 billion a year, according to consultants McKinsey & Company—is driving well-established companies like Apple, Qualcomm, and IBM to invest in technologies from data-capturing smartphone apps to billion-dollar analytical systems. It’s feeding the rising enthusiasm for startups as well.


Venture capital firms like Greylock Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as well as the corporate venture funds of Google, Samsung, Merck, and others, have invested more than $3 billion in health-care information technology since the beginning of 2013—a rapid acceleration from previous years, according to data from Mercom Capital Group. 

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Paul's curator insight, July 24, 2014 12:06 PM

Yes - but bad data/analysis can harm it

Pedro Yiakoumi's curator insight, July 24, 2014 1:48 PM

http://theinnovationenterprise.com/summits/big-data-boston-2014

Vigisys's curator insight, July 27, 2014 4:34 AM

La collecte de données de santé tout azimut, même à l'échelle de big data, et l'analyse de grands sets de données est certainement utile pour formuler des hypothèses de départ qui guideront la recherche. Ou permettront d'optimiser certains processus pour une meilleure efficacité. Mais entre deux, une recherche raisonnée et humaine reste indispensable pour réaliser les "vraies" découvertes. De nombreuses études du passé (bien avant le big data) l'ont démontré...

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How Twitter can be used to address specific health issues

How Twitter can be used to address specific health issues | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

A new study led by Jenine K. Harris, PhD, examined the use of the hashtag #childhoodobesity in tweets to track Twitter conversations about the issue of overweight kids.


The study noted that conversations involving childhood obesity on Twitter don't often include comments from representatives of government and public health organizations that likely have evidence relating to how best to approach this issue. The authors think maybe they should.


Twitter use is growing nationwide. In its 2014 Twitter update, the Pew Research Center found that Twitter is used more by those in lower-income groups, which traditionally are more difficult to reach with health information.


While younger Americans also are more likely to use Twitter, it is used equally across education groups and is used more by non-white Americans than whites.


This, Harris said, is one of the reasons Twitter is an avenue that the academic and government sources with accurate health information should consider taking advantage of in order to reach a wide variety of people.


"I think public health so far doesn't have a great game plan for using social media, we're still laying the foundation for that," she said. "We're still learning what works.


"Public health communities, politicians, and government sources -- people who really know what works -- should join in the conversation. Then we might be able to make an impact," she said.

more at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710151723.htm


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askdrmaxwell's curator insight, July 14, 2014 6:09 PM

Do you use social media for your health questions and research? 

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FDA Looks to Urge Companies to Tweet Drug Risks

FDA Looks to Urge Companies to Tweet Drug Risks | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

The FDA is looking into a new way to regulate drugs and medical devices—by using social media. The agency has drafted social media guidelines that would urge drug companies to use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to educate the public about the risks of their prescription drug or medical device.

The draft guidelines, which are currently under review by the agency, propose that companies be required to use the “character space constraints” on social media platforms such as Twitter to tweet the risks, along with the benefits, of a product. The guidelines also recommend that manufacturers include a link that takes readers to more information about the product. In the case of Twitter, that information should all be included in a single tweet.

    If a firm concludes that adequate benefit and risk information, as well as other required information, cannot all be communicated within the same character-space-limited communication, then the firm should reconsider using that platform for the intended promotional message.

If approved, the guidelines will become the first formal recommendation by the agency regarding manufacturers’ use of social media.


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Digital health is going to need medical approval and a great UI

Digital health is going to need medical approval and a great UI | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

So far the internet of things hasn’t made much headway into patient care in the medical setting, but consumers are buying wellness devices for a variety of reasons. Will the medical world embrace that data?


The intersection of healthcare and connected devices was thrown into high relief these last few weeks as both Apple and Samsung unveiled ecosystems to take consumer health data and turn it into actionable intelligence.


But this week’s guests at the Weekly podacst at GigaOm are confident that as advanced as consumer-grade consumer grade health devices get, they won’t become something doctors are hot on for years to come — if ever.


In this week’s podcast Stacey Higginbotham discusses medical connected devices and where it may meet the consumer with Rick Valencia from Qualcomm Life. Will doctor’s prescribe our apps or devices? 


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Vigisys's curator insight, June 15, 2014 4:22 AM

Un podcast intéressant qui évoque les freins à l'utilisation médicale des objets connectés. On y évoque le besoin de valider les usages avec des études cliniques et d'adapter les interfaces à un usage professionnel. Que du bon sens !

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The future of medicine: Augmented Reality & Google Glass

The future of medicine: Augmented Reality & Google Glass | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

With his Google Glass, Stanford University physician Dr. Homero Rivas pinpoints a target on the skin of an anatomical human model.

The surgeon and his assistant then direct their Glass at the target to reveal an augmented reality display on their screens. To their eyes, looking through the Glass, they can see the procedure illustrated step by step with images superimposed over the skin of the model.


Stanford University live-streamed that demonstration to physicians around the world. It wasn’t a particularly complicated procedure, but it was one of the first times that augmented reality has been introduced to Glassware for the benefit of surgeons.


“You don’t need to go in blind anymore,” said Dr. Rivas in an interview with VentureBeat following the demonstration. 

“Now, we have an educated impression of where a mass is. We can better understand exactly where to make an incision so we can create less trauma.”


more at : http://venturebeat.com/2014/03/13/this-stanford-surgeon-shows-us-the-future-of-medicine-augmented-reality-google-glass-exclusive/


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Pacific Cove's curator insight, March 14, 2014 3:12 AM

“You don’t need to go in blind anymore,” said Dr. Rivas in an interview with VentureBeat following the demonstration. 

“Now, we have an educated impression of where a mass is. We can better understand exactly where to make an incision so we can create less trauma.”

Michael Bishop's curator insight, March 23, 7:37 PM

Augmented Reality is becoming a major infrastructure at the moment and we will see this become a major trend in the next tens of years. This technology can enable so much innovation in different areas such as Medicine, Engineering and most definitely everyday use.

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Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer - Study

Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer - Study | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

“If you’re dealing with a disease like cancer that can be arrived at by multiple pathways, it makes sense that you’re not going to find that each patient has taken the same path” - John McDonald, a professor in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.


If a driver is traveling to New York City, I-95 might be their route of choice. But they could also take I-78, I-87 or any number of alternate routes. Most cancers begin similarly, with many possible routes to the same disease. A new study found evidence that assessing the route to cancer on a case-by-case basis might make more sense than basing a patient’s cancer treatment on commonly disrupted genes and pathways.


The study found little or no overlap in the most prominent genetic malfunction associated with each individual patient’s disease compared to malfunctions shared among the group of cancer patients as a whole.
“This paper argues for the importance of personalized medicine, where we treat each person by looking for the etiology of the disease in patients individually,” said McDonald, 


“The findings have ramifications on how we might best optimize cancer treatments as we enter the era of targeted gene therapy.”


The research was published February 11 online in the journal PANCREAS and was funded by the Georgia Tech Foundation and the St. Joseph’s Mercy Foundation.


In the study, researchers collected cancer and normal tissue samples from four patients with pancreatic cancer and also analyzed data from eight other pancreatic cancer patients that had been previously reported in the scientific literature by a separate research group.


McDonald’s team compiled a list of the most aberrantly expressed genes in the cancer tissues isolated from these patients relative to adjacent normal pancreatic tissue.


The study found that collectively 287 genes displayed significant differences in expression in the cancers vs normal tissues. Twenty-two cellular pathways were enriched in cancer samples, with more than half related to the body’s immune response. The researchers ran statistical analyses to determine if the genes most significantly abnormally expressed on an individual patient basis were the same as those identified as most abnormally expressed across the entire group of patients.


The researchers found that the molecular profile of each individual cancer patient was unique in terms of the most significantly disrupted genes and pathways.


more at http://www.news.gatech.edu/2014/02/24/personalized-medicine-best-way-treat-cancer-study-argues


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Emma Pettengale's curator insight, September 9, 2014 10:15 AM

“If you’re dealing with a disease like cancer that can be arrived at by multiple pathways, it makes sense that you’re not going to find that each patient has taken the same path” - John McDonald, a professor in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

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What is the Future for Genetic Testing and Personalized Medicine?

What is the Future for Genetic Testing and Personalized Medicine? | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

Personalized medicine, or the ability for the medical profession to tailor therapy to particular individuals’ genetic characteristics, has been a long desired but ever elusive goal for the life sciences.  However, the prospects for personalized medicine appear to be improving in recent years.  These changes come in the wake of a variety of medical advances, including human genomic testing and cancer drugs targeted for individuals with specific genetic profiles.


As public attention to understanding the human genome has increased, the topic has garnered substantial controversy and regulation in this sector is poised to increase.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already indicated its intent to regulate—most recently in a report clarifying its future role in personalized medicine and in warning letters to direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies.


The FDA maintains it has the authority to regulate personal genetic data because it defines that data as a medical device under Section 201(h) of the Food Drug & Cosmetics Act.  The agency also points to its role as the federal body charged with providing guidance on medical device claims and protecting consumers.


Some health scholars and consumers have weighed in on the propriety of regulation.  In a study of consumer attitudes toward regulating direct-to-consumer genetic testing, researchers found many consumers wanted unfettered access to genetics testing services without government regulation, but favored oversight to ensure that the information provided was high quality.

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Alfonso Barrios Sanz's curator insight, November 16, 2014 12:53 PM

Certainly it is one of the great advances in the next years.However, we must control it so it does not affect human ethics. For example, the health insurance would be more expensive if we have bad genetics.

Pau Monzón's curator insight, December 14, 2014 11:38 AM

that's an amazing advance. But will it endange the ethics?

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FDA Unveils Draft Guidance on Drugmakers' Social Media Use

FDA Unveils Draft Guidance on Drugmakers' Social Media Use | healthcare technology | Scoop.it

On Monday, FDA released draft policy guidance indicating that pharmaceutical drug manufacturers and distributors would not be held responsible for information posted on social media about their products by consumers or providers.


Background


According to Modern Healthcare, the pharmaceutical industry has been reluctant to use social media platforms because it lacked FDA guidance on how such platforms could be used without violating certain prohibited promotion.


For example, pharmaceutical firms were concerned about being held accountable for social media posts by clinicians or patients promoting off-label use of their products. In addition, drugmakers are required to disclose side effect information when promoting their products, but social media posts by third parties might not include such data.


Details of Draft Policy Guidance


In the draft policy guidance, FDA notes that such companies are generally not accountable for user-generated content that is "truly independent," meaning it was not produced or solicited by the companies.


The draft guidance also states that pharmaceutical companies are not responsible for content published on websites they financially support but do not control editorially.


In addition, such companies will not be held accountable for promotional materials found on third-party websites as long as the pharmaceutical firms did not direct the promotion's placement on the website and did not have any other control or influence over the site.


source: http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2014/1/15/fda-unveils-draft-guidance-on-drugmakers-social-media-use

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Sensors that want to your smartphone to be your doctor is a big trend at CES

Sensors that want to your smartphone to be your doctor is a big trend at CES | healthcare technology | Scoop.it
Sensors that want to your smartphone to be your doctor is a big trend at CES


more at http://mobilesyrup.com/2014/01/07/sensors-that-want-to-your-smartphone-to-be-your-doctor-is-a-big-trend-at-ces/

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